To many transgender women, voice and voice training can be a hard subject to talk about. If you are transitioning any time after puberty, then testosterone has done its dirty work on your vocal cords. During puberty your vocal chords experience a thickening brought on by the onslaught of testosterone. In fact, even if you are cis-gender female and have testosterone in your system then you will experience this thickening.
It is this thickening that makes your voice become deeper. Think of it like guitar strings- the thicker the string the lower the tone. For trans men, this means that HRT will alter your voice and give you a more traditionally masculine voice. Unfortunately, no amount of estrogen or testosterone blocking will skinny up your vocal chords. It’s one of the sad truths about HRT for transgender women- we just don’t experience as many physical changes as trans men do.
There are surgeries that you can undergo to attempt to change your voice, but these can be risky and are most certainly expensive. Luckily, however, you can train your voice to become more “feminine” by altering your pitch, tone, and speech pattern. It isn’t a quick or easy fix, but it has worked for countless trans women and it can work for you. These are the techniques that have been used long before we had the alternatives of surgery. No matter where your voice is now, no matter how deep, you can make headway. Now, you won’t go from Barry White to Mariah Carey- let’s be honest here. However, you will see a difference if you put in the work.
Here, the beautiful and prolific Stef Sanjati goes over the exercises and practices she has employed over the last year for voice training and displays the results comparing her own voice over the course of a year.
Just remember, it’s more than pitch. Talking like Mickey Mouse isn’t going to accomplish your goal. You need to keep in mind pitch, tone, and flow (speech patterns)- it is only in altering all three that you will get the results you want.
One final note, please keep in mind what Stef says in her video. It is important that you are doing this for the right reasons. Don’t do it because you feel obligated, or because you think it is expected. Do it because it is something you want and it will help you to feel more complete. As with every stage of transition, do voice training because it is what you want.
Check out Stef’s YouTube Channel for more great videos.